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Stack Up founder & CEO talks supporting active and veteran service members

Stack Up CEO Stephen Machuga joined us for a conversation about filling a gap in military support charities and how Stack Up supports troops and veterans.


When it comes to supporting active and veteran service members of the military, there are a number of great organizations out there doing their part, but few take aim at a more positive and lighthearted approach to military active and veteran support than Stack Up. Active since 2015, the charity has aimed to aid members of the military through the power and love of video games, as well as aiding those who have been through traumatic experiences and helping those individuals through some of their darkest moments. Recently, we sat down with founder and CEO Stephen Machuga to talk about Stack Up’s cause and how the charity has evolved to help those in need.

Interestingly enough, Machuga began as a lead at Extra Life, but found that while it’s a good charity, it wasn’t something that resonated with his life experiences. With a background in the military, Machuga turned towards creating a charity in that field that supplied something others weren’t offering. Though there are many that aim to aid veteran homelessness or healthcare costs, Stack Up chose to focus on the power of video games and how they could positively bring civilian supporters and service members together to positive effect.

In its active years, Stack Up has become known for its positive effect on the mental health and wellbeing of veteran service members and those still active abroad. It has brought military members to gaming events they otherwise couldn’t possibly go to and aided those who have isolated themselves or dealt with trauma to come back into society in positive ways through the shared passion and fun of video games. Stack Up further serves the military community through charity drives like the World of Warships Operation Lifeboat initiative that provide veterans with around-the-clock access to any counseling or further aid they may need.

To learn more about Stack Up, be sure to visit the charity’s main website. Want to check out more videos like this? Head over to our YouTube channels at Shacknews Games and GamerHubTV to see our latest video interviews, reviews, gameplay, unboxings, and more on the latest video games, technology, and toys.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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